Vandals attack heat pump unit
"Scumbags" have cost a tenant his warmth and the homeowners thousands in replacement costs.
Anne and Rob Langston said someone dismantled the heat pump at their rental property in Stoke over the weekend, possibly in search of copper.
Greg Smith, the tenant at the house, said the unit was destroyed on Friday or Saturday.
"I tried to start [the heat pump] on Saturday night and it wouldn't go. I came out here with a torch and saw it and said, ‘Well, that's why it won't start'."
Mrs Langston said because the inside and outside units were not sold separately the entire thing had to be replaced.
She had spoken to the installer, Best & West, who had said the vandals had probably been looking for copper.
"The thing is what they stole is probably only worth about 60 cents."
A Best & West spokesman confirmed the amount of copper in the units would only be worth between 60c and $1.50.
Best & West electrician David Rodwell said he had been called out to two similar incidents in the same area only a month before.
Mr Langston said whoever had done it was "scum, just scum".
Mrs Langston said she wanted other people to be aware so it did not happen to them.
"We're looking at a couple of thousand dollars to replace it."
She had been advised to cut back some of the surrounding trees and install security lights.
She had thought about getting a cage put over the new unit too.
"But if people are going to do this, won't they just pull it off?"
A Best & West spokesperson warned that if the outdoor heat pump unit was isolated from the power source it was still able to store high voltage which could be extremely dangerous if handled.
He said it was also a timely reminder to be aware of scammers with the guise of cleaning heat pumps. They did not need cleaning, he said, and many elderly people were getting caught out.
- © Fairfax NZ News